Zaps – November 2008








Events
 
BOOKFAIR – The 7th Annual New Orleans Bookfair is scheduled for Saturday, November 15 at the 500-600 blocks of Frenchmen Street. It will be a celebration of independent publishing and alternative media.
 
HR DAY – December 10 is Human Rights Day as declared by the United Nations. On that date in 1948, 48 members of the UN, including the United States, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. See the website for this document in over 300 languages, along with related info.
Contact: OHCHR-UNOG, 8-14 Avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; www.unhchr.ch/udh.
 
ASSEMBLY - The 4th Annual National Assembly of United for Peace & Justice is scheduled for December 12-14 at the Wyndham O’Hare Hotel in Chicago. Representatives of UFPJ’s 1,400 member groups will attend and the assembly is also open to all who agree with the Unity Statement and the Strategic Framework adopted at the last assembly (available at the website), though only delegates of UFPJ member groups (as of December 1, 2008) may participate in decision-making.
Contact: UFPJ, PO Box 607, Times Square Station, NY, NY 10108; 212-868-5545; www.unitedforpeace.org.
 
SOCIAL FORUM – The ninth World Social Forum will be held in Belem, Brazil, January 27 through February 1, 2009. In the past, hundreds of thousands of people have attended to discuss and help create a more just economic and governing system under the banner "Another World Is Possible."
 

Campaigns
 
RNC-8 - Eight activists were preemptively arrested at the beginning of the Republican National Convention and charged with Conspiracy to Commit Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. Funds are needed to fight these absurd charges, which can result in several years of prison, against local organizers facilitating legitimate protests.
 
SPEAKING TOUR - Resisting Empire: A National Speaking Tour offers talks by anti-war activists and experts, such as Iraq Veterans Against the War, unembedded journalist Dahr Jamail, and authors Jeremy Scahill and Laila Al-Arian.
 
WEBSITE - The left/progressive website TRUTHOUT.org is  fundraising to continue and expand its coverage.
Contact: Truthout, PO Box 231278, Encinitas, CA 92023; 213-489-1971; www.truthout.org.
 

Film
 
PLASTIC - Addicted to Plastic is a new documentary that reveals the history and worldwide scope of plastics pollution, investigates its toxicity, and explores solutions.
 
OAXACA - From the Edge of the Blade is a new documentary which uses first-hand video and interviews with teachers, activists, workers, and students to describe the historic 2006 popular uprising in Oaxaca, Mexico against a repressive state government.
 
WAR TAXContempt of Conscience is a new documentary that exposes the system of compulsory military taxation in Britain and explores an attempt by ordinary taxpayers to change the law so that people with a conscientious objection to paying for military violence can redirect their taxes to peaceful means.
 

Publications
 
CALENDAR - The 2009 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar features writing and artwork by activist groups such as RUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), Incite!, the Cuban Five, and Common Ground. The calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between organizers in Montreal and three political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons in New York state: Herman Bell, David Gilbert and Robert Seth Hayes.
 
REPORT - "Economic Stimulus and Economically Distressed Workers" by Michael Zweig, Junyi Zhu, and Daniel Wolman explores economic issues largely ignored in the Wall Street-centered current media coverage: the needs of ordinary people in the U.S. amid accelerating job losses, low wages, and foreclosures.
 

Books
 
DEMOCRATS - The Democrats: A Critical History by Lance Selfa punctures the slim hopes of significant change under a different party, offering a historical perspective of how the Democratic Party has pursued an agenda favorable to Wall Street and U.S. imperial ambitions.
 
DEVELOPMENT - In Development Redefined: How the Market Met Its Match by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh critique the failing neoliberal model of economic development and point to sustainable alternatives.
Contact: Paradigm Publishers, 3360 Mitchell Lane, Suite E, Boulder, CO 80301; 303-245-9054; www.paradigmpublishers.com.
 
MEMOIR - In Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid, Frank Wilderson, one of only two Black American members of the African National Congress, explains his political development from suburban Minneapolis, to student barricades in Berkeley, to covert organizing for the ANC in apartheid South Africa, and back to the current ideological battles raging on American campuses.
 
RACE - The third in the Critical Black Studies Series, Transnational Blackness: Navigating the Global Color Line, edited by Manning Marable and Vanessa Agard-Jones, presents a comprehensive overview of the history, critical analysis, and theoretical perspectives of key black scholars and activists on the transnational dynamics of modern race and racism.